Can this live again? 1941 Epiphone Triumph

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.
Brian Evans
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Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: Can this live again? 1941 Epiphone Triumph

Post by Brian Evans »

Michael, I always assumed it was nitro-cellulose, but I don't actually know. I'll ask on the pre-NY epiphone facebook page. The colour is in the finish, not a stain, fwiw.

Roger Rosenberger
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Can this live again? 1941 Epiphone Triumph

Post by Roger Rosenberger »

I haven't posted for a while since there hasn''t been a lot of progress. I did find a local jeweler who repaired the cracked tail piece He said it was plated brass and took a lot more heat than he thought it would but it should hold.
Image90D084A1-4EB5-44D3-AC2E-16224321D644 by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr

I have all the holes filled, cracks repaired, bracing repaired, sanded and the top glued on. Fortunately the owner, my son-in-law, isn't looking for a complete restoration. He just wants it playable. I told him we can do a dark burst finish but you're still going to see some of the repairs and scars. He said he expected to have a lot of scars too when he's 80 years old.
We're going to add a suspended pickup with controls in the pickguard. ImageD4FAA654-3AD6-45ED-BB9F-CCE0272EFB78 by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr

Instead of hand planing ramps for the patch on the top I modified the router ramp and used a 45 degree V bit with bearing guide to cut a 45 all around the edge. Much easier or me and I think it worked well.
ImageEC5236E9-8400-4F07-8F69-92A245D16FFC by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr
Image98291BF5-D99F-4B8A-A605-7873BA02DBE5 by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr
Last edited by Roger Rosenberger on Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Roger Rosenberger
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Can this live again? 1941 Epiphone Triumph

Post by Roger Rosenberger »

I'm waiting for new dremel bits to get here so I can refresh/re-cut the binding channels. I've been thinking about a jig that mounts to my grinder to remove fret tangs over the neck binding. Any ideas?

Progress has been slow due to other home improvement projects that need to get done. Plus there are a lot of never done before repairs, for me anyway.

I think this dark burst is the look we settled on for the finish. As close as I can get it anyway.
ImageC6D85914-8C21-4915-A79E-F32ADB7A4473 by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Can this live again? 1941 Epiphone Triumph

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

It looks like you are doing a fine job with the repair work. I think that type of burst should work well to help hide the repair patch. I would do a few coats of clear and then put color in the finish rather than stain the wood and risk the old wood taking stain differently than the new wood. Other people may have different (and better) ways to achieve a good result with the finish. If you do decide to stain the wood I would use a pigment stain rather than a dye stain. Pigment stains tend to sit on top of the wood rather than sinking into it and muddy the grain a bit (which may be a plus in this case) where dyes sink in and highlight it. Many commercial stains contain both dye and pigment components, and results vary according to how they are applied and wiped off.

Roger Rosenberger
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Can this live again? 1941 Epiphone Triumph

Post by Roger Rosenberger »

I bet you all thought I gave up!
I let this sit for a couple months while we remodeled the bathroom. I thought I would get back to this when that was done but there was an executive decision to continue on to the last room to be redone, I'm not the executive. But now the house is completely done!
I have the box closed up, new binding on the body and neck, refret is done now time for the finish! I'll try for the dark brown burst in the previous pic.
Hope to have it done in a couple weeks.
Image1D67DC04-3AAA-4560-939B-B73C727DA81C by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr
ImageB5C601E3-95CD-4A49-A467-BD932A215E3F by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr
ImageEB17D255-A406-4CBA-AFE3-5A7152435E9D by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr

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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Can this live again? 1941 Epiphone Triumph

Post by Barry Daniels »

Good job Roger. I never thought it was possible.
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Roger Rosenberger
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Can this live again? 1941 Epiphone Triumph

Post by Roger Rosenberger »

Got it this far! I still have a lot of set up work to do plus the pickguard and electronics. I've been on vacation for the last 10 days but it's getting close!

I don't know why the pictures are sideways? I kind of lost the brown burst, it's still there if you squint. :)
Image8CC82AA4-9A8E-44D1-B39C-53D1E4B9251D by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr
Image9C06CBA4-B9DC-4DCC-B803-1E052C5ED897 by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr
ImageA88B9132-66D8-4F4C-8385-1804E68ECAFA by Roger Rosenberger, on Flickr

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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Can this live again? 1941 Epiphone Triumph

Post by Barry Daniels »

It's looking great!
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